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Subject: Wargame help...again... rss

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Andrew L.
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I just moved this from the general reccomendations forum, at the advice of a fellow BGG'er

Hello BGG'ers,

I have written a few threads on the subject of Wargaming recommendations, but they have resulted in a few games that I didn't really enjoy. After playing through a few different games, I think I can more clearly state what I am looking for in a wargame experience, and so hopefully you all can help me get some more variety in my fledgling collection. So here goes:

I recently added Ambush! and Move Out! and I am enjoying them very much. I also played Commands and Colors:Ancients, and realized for me, that is what I am looking for, more or less. I own Memoir '44 and all of the expansions, so I am familiar with the Command and Colors series, but Ancients scratches the itch for "heavier" gameplay.

So basically, I am looking for a game that has a lot of options to choose from when it comes to troop selection/scenarios, and that is light-medium in weight. (I couldn't make heads or tails of the Fields of Fire rulebook, if that helps).

My favorite eras are the Ancient warfare and WWII.

Scale isn't really an issue for me.

Lastly, the game has to be able to be played solo. Whether that is just playing both sides objectively or having the games built around a solo mechanism, solo play is a must.

I know this is kind of a rambling, but any help would be appreciated. If you need clarification, just post and I will get things cleared up.

Thanks again,

Drew
 
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Martin
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Which games did you try and not enjoy?
 
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Andrew L.
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I didn't enjoy Field Commander: Alexander and Fields of Fire, mainly. FC: A was a little too light for what I was looking for, and Fields of Fire was too difficult for me to get into...I am just starting. I also just recieved B-17 in a trade, but upon further inspection it doesn't look like something I was looking for...I am not totally giving up on it, since I don't actually have the game yet, but I haven't been too impressed by what I have read on the site. Those are about it, as I am really new to the hobby, but on the opposite end as mentioned in the OP I really am into Ambush! and the Commands and Colors series, esp. C&C:A.
 
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Robert Washington

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Someone gave me a copy of Lock 'n Load: Band of Heroes, and it impressed me because it has all the qualities you describe as optimal - WWII, not super complicated, optimized for solo play, decent number of scenarios, has expansions. A solid step up from C&C, but not that steep.

To be fair, he gave it to me in part because while he liked it a lot, he liked Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 even more.
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Kent Reuber
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historygamer89 wrote:
So basically, I am looking for a game that has a lot of options to choose from when it comes to troop selection/scenarios, and that is light-medium in weight. (I couldn't make heads or tails of the Fields of Fire rulebook, if that helps).

My favorite eras are the Ancient warfare and WWII.

Scale isn't really an issue for me.

Lastly, the game has to be able to be played solo. Whether that is just playing both sides objectively or having the games built around a solo mechanism, solo play is a must.


If you're interested in ancients, one game series that I would suggest is the "Rome at War" series, e.g., Rome At War I: Hannibal at Bay. From the perspective of the solo player, the nice thing about this series is that each side makes activation rolls vs. the skill of the overall commander as to whether one or more formations are activated. Thus, if you're playing solo, you're never sure whether your "opponent" can respond to your assault or not.

Another ancient series that I would look at is Ancients (which is available for free from http://relativerange.com/) and which has been developed as a "for sale" game as [GAMEID=36596.
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J.L. Robert
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World at War: Eisenbach Gap is getting a lot of good press. It's alternate history/WWIII stuff, however.

For WWII, I'll second the recommendation for Conflict of Heroes. Panzerblitz: Hill of Death may also fit the bill for you.

Ancients is a weak link for me, so I can't really suggest any game for you for that period.
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I heartily second Ancients I / Ancients II (or the combined set called simply Ancients but be careful it is not confused with the original Ancients) which are out of print but available "used", or the revised version in Ancient Battles Deluxe. The revised version is a bit more 'fleshed out' as a system, but the originals have all those scenarios. This is a very popular system, albeit less so that CC:A, for the very good reason that you can play a quality game in about a half-hour to an hour, and that there are 100+ scenarios and you are only limited by your own imagination for design-your-own scenarios. I like very complex games like the Berg/Herman GBoH series from GMT, but I have to admit I am happy to play Ancients or ABD and it is a very satisfying game. If you want something similar to this and CC:A but more physically attractive you might check out De Bellis Antiquitatis.

There is a WW2 version of World at War coming out (soon?) called Nations at War: White Star Rising. I thought highly enough of it to pre-order it.

EDIT - you can download the rules for Ancient Battles Deluxe for free on the web and see if you would like it. There is also a VASSAL module which makes it easy to find opponents anywhere in the world.
 
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James Palmer
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Outkast wrote:
Someone gave me a copy of Lock 'n Load: Band of Heroes, and it impressed me because it has all the qualities you describe as optimal - WWII, not super complicated, optimized for solo play, decent number of scenarios, has expansions. A solid step up from C&C, but not that steep.

To be fair, he gave it to me in part because while he liked it a lot, he liked Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 even more.


While I believe you (the OP) may like Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 a lot (it is my current favourite game), I don't believe it is that great solo.

However, the next module in the same series, Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943, will have fully developed, solo-specific rules, and I believe will fit your criteria to a tee. The game should be out within the next month.
 
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Bartow Riggs
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I'm not suprised you didn't like Fields of Fire. I keep hearing that there is a great game there but I've been playing wargames for 35 years+ and that rulebook is one of the worst I've seen. Really Bad. Bad to the point that I won't play the game till someone does a complete rules rewrite (or nearly so - maybe a complete, step by step tutorial.)

If you haven't played DVG's Alexander game much I've found that it is one that grows on you and gets better after you have played it a few times so you might try again if you only played it a little bit.

I think these two might work for you:



Though I would classify PG as medium weight the system has a short 16 pages of rules and they repeat in places so maybe 14 pages overall, effectively.


Another game that is brilliant and brand new in it's current iteration is:




This game actually has a serious rule book but in actual play the steps become second-nature after just a few turns. It doesn't have a plethora of unit types but does have several scenarios and the capability to be played "true" solitaire from either side as well as two player.

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Andrew L.
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So, I did some looking around and I am really really interested in World at War. I actually like the alternate history theme, as I am really into the Command and Conquer:Red Alert series on PC, and that is built around an alternate history of WWII.

For those of you who have played it, does it have the potential to play well solo?

Also, feel free to keep the recommendations coming...I need all the help I can get.
 
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Joe R

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For your interest in ancient warfare, several have recommended "Ancients" in its various iterations. Fun game, not too complex and an interesting spin on ancient warfare.

You could also try Battleground: Fantasy Warfare. This is a more or less miniatures game, but uses cards (the size of playing cards) to represent various units. Nice graphics if you like top down views. The battle rules are a bit odd to me as they do not give much advantage to flanking attacks as I would have expected. Currently, these are fantasy only (orcs, elves, dwarves, men, undead), but they promise historicals shortly.

Another option would be to try one of the various miniatures rules sets out there. You can find a variety of rules sets on freewargamesrules.com.

One I like is Basic Impetus. This is free, has HUGE support in terms of numbers of armies (ranging from Biblical to Renaissance) and is a fairly interesting spin on ancient warfare. Basic Impetus is about the same complexity level as Ancients but has a decidedly different approach to ancient warfare.

Basic Impetus also has an expanded version called, not surprisingly, Impetus which is available for purchase. Not terribly expensive -- about $40 in the US. In addition, in contrast to Field of Glory, there are lots of army lists available on the publisher's website for free. Yes, no need to spend additional dollars on army books.

Traditionally, miniatures require lots of time and money (and some skill) to paint up various armies. However, you can try out the system with simple cards cut to match the basing system of the rule set you are using. Of course, this doesn't have a lot of visual appeal, nor the 3D tactile feel of real miniatures, but it does allow you to put together an army in a short time and with little cost to see if you really like the system.

Why? IMHO miniatures rules sets seem to spend more time and attention on command and control systems and morale than board games. Not true in every case, but overall. The more I read, the more convinced I am that ancient warfare was a clash of systems every bit as much as say modern warfare. Roman legions weren't invincible, but they were awfully hard to beat for a LONG LONG time not because the pilum was the greatest javelin on earth (it wasn't) but beacuse of the training, leadership and intergrated tactics the Romans brought to the battlefield. On the other hand, while barbarians were barbarians, there was more to barbarian warfare than lining up and yelling "Charge!"

What I like about Impetus, both versions but particularly the full version, is that it has some rather simple mechanics that give full scope to skirmishers and light cavalry and horse archers that seem to be difficult to put onto a board.
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A few light (card - based) wargames - not all in your favorite periods, and not all great for solitaire play, but fairly simple and easy to teach to non-wargamers...


Down in Flames: Aces High

Wings of War: The Dawn of World War II or Wings of War: Famous Aces

Dixie: Bull Run or Dixie: Shiloh
 
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Andrew L.
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Thanks for the miniatures advice, but no thanks. I really do like the miniatures, but I would want to play the games with the mini's instead of the cards and I have quite an obsessive personality...I would need to buy all of the sets, etc. So it's best if I don't go down that avenue.

Right now, I am looking into the Ancient Battles Deluxe and the World at War series, but Bastonge: Screaming Eagles Under Siege looks interesting too...hmmm

Thanks for all the helpful responses!
 
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Confusion Under Fire
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I loved Ambush too,hence my username. Have you tried the expansions? Ambush! Move Out! I found enhanced the main game but Ambush! Purple Heart seemed to get a little too Hollywood and I also found the game bogging down a lot more. I never tried the third expansion as I assumed that it went further away from the original. There are other games using the same system too.

I have Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 and in the main rule book there is one scenario before you come across hidden units. I have played with the units being visible but I always feel I am missing out on something and maybe even unbalancing the gameplay slightly.

Combat Commander: Europe is a better game but might be deemed less solo-able then CoH
Each player has a set of cards, so if you think Memoir is playable solo then so will Combat Commander.

I recently asked a similar question regarding a good operational game for a newbie to op games and many suggested the "Standard Combat Series" (SCS). The rules can be found here on BGG. In fact many rules can be found on here including both CoH and CC:E

One of your main problems may be not deciding what you want to play but trying to find them after you have decided.

Mike
 
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Romian Tuesta-Vilca
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Go for conflict of heroes.

Great game
Fun and fast
Excellent bits
Easy to learn rules
Good solo
You are buying a system, not just a game

Enjoy!
 
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Stephen Harper
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For WWII the "Heroes" games (as in "Band of Heroes") from Lock N Load. If you like the system, you can find games covering different periods of WWII (Normandy, Bulge, EastFront, France 1940) as well as Falklands and Somalia.

#2 choice in WWII would be the Combat Commander games. Although they have cards, they are as playable solitaire as Command & Colors, both of which I have gamed solitaire.

Another possible WWII pick is the original Squad Leader and its first expansion Cross of Iron (expansions after that made it too complicated I think for what you are looking for). But of course you would have to look for a used copy on Ebay or some such.

For Ancients, one of my favorite eras, the two systems that are tops for me are Command & Colors and GMT's GBOH. For the latter, you might consider "Simple" GBOH which as it suggests is a simplified version of the regular rules. If interested, you can go to the GMT website and probably find the rules available for view.

I have Ancients, but that system does not interest me as much, although maybe that is because I only have the originally published version of it from way back.

The key words I pick up from you are "a lot of options to choose from when it comes to troop selections/scenarios". All the above fit the bill.
 
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Andrew L.
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Thanks for all of your help everyone. I have a few games that I really want to get now, and they have been added to my wishlist (a hint for my fiance...Christmas isn't that far away, right?)

Now I just have to see if I get any trade offers/sale offers on my copy of B-17: Queen of the Skies. If I do, you can be sure I will be picking up at least one of the games we discussed, mainly:

World at War series
Lock n' Load Series
Conflict of Heroes (which I have had my eye on for quite some time)
maybe..just maybe...C&C:A, simply because I don't own it yet.
Ancient Battleseluxe, if I don't get C&C:A

If you think of any other games that would fit the bill, lemme know!
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